John liked to do nothing when there was nothing to do: a change in the fan setting, an adjustment in the lamp’s angle, a sip from a glass of water, a toil on the bed sheets—a stare at the current thing in front of his eyes. He might’ve blamed it on the summer weather if he didn’t already know that this had been the routine since a few winters ago, and that if he blamed it on a trivial and shallow reason, he himself would feel just as shallow, which would make him feel worse. Is this how it’s supposed to be? he thought. He thought that often; he thought often. Doing nothing allowed him to do so.
The weather was sluggish. A sunless summer made John feel slow. By the humidity the fake leather material of his desk chair would stick to his skin and flake off on occasion—the chair was old and needed replacement. During these days John wouldn’t sit on his desk chair or be at his desk—where he should be. John couldn’t work even when he wanted to work. Working tormented his brain and not working tormented his brain. Misery would glare a horrendous light when John remembered this idea—
It was a tree this time. A tree far in the distance out his bedroom window—a plastic bag caught between the branches. It was a familiar tree to John. So familiar, he had considered giving it a name in strange irony of the thoughts he had about it whenever he passed by. He had examined it after a terrible argument with another one that had not been the one, musing closely at the affair and concluding that if anyone had taken effort to remove it, the plastic would need to be torn apart wildly in order to free all the branches. The plastic remains, by virtue of an uncontrollable wind, would then float free-form within the air, dispersing irretrievable specks into the innocent unknown. To John, that was a funny consequence of helping a helpless dilemma, and he reasoned doing nothing as the best course of action. The thought of that also made him laugh.
But John would also cry about it quite unreasonably. The plastic bag and tree had been intertwined for quite some time, and while he understood the logic in passivity—his thin arms and pale skin evidence of a repeat offender—he also hated himself for thinking in such a way, despite the fact that it was the normal way, by proof of a rising and setting sun greeting and leaving the defiled tree day to day; something short of one-hundred thousand people lived in his city. John entertained thoughts about this fact: Are we all condemned to hell? Are build and destroy synonyms? Would you tear a man apart to save a mother?
Indeed, John felt as though he was growing older—all boys do, all John's do, all trees do. Perhaps then, the day had, in fact, been the correct mixture of fate: an infinite cloud, a scream into an empty room, a glass shattered against the superior glass of the window, and a desire to change what needed to be changed long ago. And intoxicated by it all did John stumble into the outside being John: a lingering question watching each passing person—John often thought about wearing sunglasses, but he didn’t want the crutch.
How strange, the ensuing event! The clouds were dispersing, and to delusive John and his naive faith in the weatherman’s promise of a 24/7 gray—fate had seemingly beckoned this chanced aberration from routine like a sign displaying destiny: you will save this tree, I believe in you. John straightened his back and shoulders with a strange smile. Strangers passing by the stranger that was John thought he had a strange smile.
‘Finally, I will do this. I won’t think about it anymore—I won’t have to think about it anymore. God, the sun feels so nice on my back! Is this what fulfillment is like? What a concept! Yes, this feeling is great, wow, what I would give to feel like this everyday. Feel, feeling, feeling like this, man, I haven’t had sex in awhile, that feels nice, I should go on Tinder again, but most of them don’t emotionally satisfy me, but feeling good feels fucking good— actually, why did I stop pursuing this? Fuck, my head, I shouldn’t have drank that without some ice, I wonder where Andre went, the shit he’s been selling recently doesn’t even hit me at all. But finding another plug is annoying, ah fuck it, whatever, maybe I’ll call him later—what is that over there? A bird? Doesn’t seem like a bird—oh, it’s a squirrel, what the fuck is wrong with me? Squirrels are rats with floofy tails, heh, floofy, that’s a funny word, floooooofy. Is that even a word? Oh shit, I almost ran into that woman, I should pay attention to where I’m walking. Am I on the right road, actually? I’ve been down here a million times, surely I’m not fucking retarded. Okay, I’m not, I’m where I’m supposed to be. Oh, is this it? There’s so many holes... no matter! Oh, but it's so high... I did not think this through. Should I climb the tree? I don’t even know how to climb a tree, can I die from falling from a tree? You idiot, height is independent from a tree, you fall from anywhere high enough you die. But is the tree high enough? Aren’t you only allowed to climb certain kinds of trees? No, stop being a coward and climb the damn tree. Okay, there’s a ridge here I can step on I suppose—fuck fuck fuck, okay no, nevermind, I’m actually a clown, wait! This branch can hold my weight, I think. Seems sketch, do I try? Okay, thank fuck, but what now? Thank God people aren’t watching me, this is embarrassing... okay, what do I do here? Maybe I can tear a piece off one at a time and stuff it into my pocket... but I might fall. Should I just tear it off then? Fuck, it feels like dust it’s so old. If I tear it off it’ll get everywhere... do I really want to do this? I’m already here, just push on. No! You’re gonna fucking kill yourself, get down—what the hell are you doing climbing a tree? Why are you here? Oh shit, I’m falling, I’m falling!—’